Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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2023 Roadmap to Safety

Massachusetts is one of 9 states ranked in the “danger zone” in the 2023 Roadmap to Safety report. The state has not passed all the group’s traffic safety recommendations.

In a new report, Massachusetts has earned good marks for passing distracted driving laws that promote safety and reduce the risk of car accidents and injuries. Yet we still finished among nine states in the danger zone for not implementing other traffic safety laws.

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released its 2023 Roadmap to Safety report in early December, noting the U.S. had recorded nearly 43,000 traffic fatalities in 2021. The breakdown is 115 lives lost each day in U.S. car accidents and crashes. The group added preliminary traffic figures for 2022 remained “egregiously high.”

Here in Massachusetts, traffic crashes have claimed 3,611 lives over a decade. Last year, 413 people died on the roads.

In response to the data, the group has called for states to pass more highway laws and support new driving technologies.

The report looked at these areas:

  • Seat belt laws
  • Child passenger safety seats
  • Teen driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Automated enforcement to curb speeding

Massachusetts joined Michigan, Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana in the overall danger zone ranking. Just 5 states and Washington D.C. received good ratings: Louisiana, Maryland, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington State.

Aside from Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the rest of the New England states finished in the caution zone for their progress passing the recommended laws.

Where Do Massachusetts Highway Laws Fall Short?

Massachusetts laws on seat belts, child passenger safety, teen driving and impaired driving fell short of the group’s recommendations.

Child Passenger Safety Seats

Child safety seats are one of the most critical tools for protecting children. This is one of the first lessons a parent learns.

The American Academy for Pediatrics reports infants and toddlers are at high risk for head and spine injuries in motor vehicle crashes. When properly used, child safety seats reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers, according to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Massachusetts joined 39 states and Washington D.C. in the danger zone on child passenger safety seats. Like Massachusetts, many states have passed at least one child safety seat law, but not all the recommendations.

In Massachusetts, we have a booster seat law for children until their 8th birthday or when they grow 57 inches tall.

As for rear-facing car seats, the state recommends keeping children in these until age 2. But this is not specifically required under Massachusetts law, as it is in Rhode Island, 17 other states and Washington D.C. Nationwide, the report did show movement on rear-facing car seat laws until age 2, noting Hawaii and Maryland just passed these in 2022.

Just one state – Louisiana – had passed the group’s recommended law requiring children to sit in the back seat until age 12. However, Louisiana does not have a booster seat law (though it has a law requiring rear-facing car seats until age 2).

Teen Driving

As for teen driving, Massachusetts has a junior operator law, which restricts cell phone use and places special conditions on drivers ages 16 ½ to 18 to help them develop and build experience.

But the state lost points for allowing drivers to apply for learner permits at age 16 and their driver’s license at 16 ½. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recommend drivers wait until they are 17 and calls for them to have twice as many training hours as required under Massachusetts law.

Ignition Interlocks

Massachusetts received credit for having an open container law. Most states have these laws (39 states and the District of Columbia).

But Massachusetts was in the caution zone for impaired driving laws due to our ignition interlock law.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety supports all-offender ignition interlock laws, which require all drivers charged with operating under the influence to install ignition interlocks in their vehicles.

Thirty four states and D.C. have optimal drunk driving laws requiring interlocks for all offenders.

Massachusetts does not have an all-offender drunk driving law. In October 2005, the state passed “Melanie’s Law,” with a goal of reducing drunk driving injury crashes. Melanie’s Law increased the penalties for operating under the influence in Massachusetts and included a provision that required drivers charged with a second offense of drunk driving to equip their vehicles with ignition interlocks.

While safety groups have long pushed for an all-offender law, there has never been enough support to pass the Legislature and governor.

The closest Massachusetts came was a few years ago, when state lawmakers who supported the measure tucked an ignition interlock amendment in the fiscal year 2021 state budget.

This required all drivers who had a .15 bac level to use ignition interlocks, regardless of how many offenses they had. But this is nearly twice the state’s legal limit of .08 bac.

Seat Belts

Massachusetts was one of nine states without strong enough seat belt laws. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recommend states pass primary seat belt enforcement laws.

Massachusetts only has a secondary enforcement seat belt law, meaning police can only stop someone for failure to wear a seat belt if they stop the vehicle on suspicion of another offense.

Massachusetts residents have long debated seat belts. Getting a secondary enforcement law passed has taken a great deal of time, with the state Legislature passing the first seat belt law back in 1985, only to have voters repeal this at the ballot box. The state finally passed a secondary seat belt law in 1994.

Automated Speed Enforcement

Massachusetts and 26 other states are behind the recommendations for automated enforcement laws.  Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recommends states have automated enforcement to address the rise in speeding and car accidents. Speeding was involved in 27 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2021, a 5 percent increase from 2020.

At this point, roughly 23 states and Washington D.C. permit automated enforcement by law while 19 have automated enforcement in use.

Massachusetts Earns Good Marks for Distracted Driving Laws

Massachusetts was credited for passing an all-rider motorcycle helmet law, a booster seat law and banning open containers in vehicles.

Distracted Driving

We are going to take a minute to write about Massachusetts’ distracted driving laws. The state received good marks for having a junior operator law that restricts all cell phone use for teen drivers and for having a texting-while-driving ban that applies to all ages.

Massachusetts has banned texting while driving for all drivers since 2010, when the Massachusetts Safe Driving Law was passed. Then in 2019, Massachusetts joined other states, passing a more comprehensive hands-free driving law. We were the last New England state to do so.

With this law, police gained new authority to stop drivers who use cell phones as a primary offense. And before, drivers could pick up a mobile electronic device to make calls, but not text. There was some confusion and room to get away with cell phone use. Now, the message is clear in Massachusetts: drivers have to buy a mount and turn on voice activation if they want to talk or text.

Studying the Next Distraction For Drivers

Or maybe this is not so clear. What about drivers who are still engaging in very highly distracted activities, such as vlogging or livestreaming to social media? Their phones are mounted as Massachusetts law requires.

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety have taken note and plan to review state laws on “distracted viewing activities” for a future report.

Just four states specifically ban recording and broadcasting video as part of their hands-free driving law, according to a Massachusetts state lawmaker who filed legislation here following a 2021 crash killing a Northampton cyclist. The lawmaker was seeking an amendment to the Massachusetts hands-free driving law.

Police reported the 24-year-old female driver had been distracted by a 53-second call with a friend on Facetime. The woman has since pleaded guilty to a charge of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, receiving a one-year suspended jail sentence, with three years of probation and a 15-year loss of her driver’s license (Source: WWLP).

Update on Massachusetts Legislation to Protect Cyclists and Pedestrians

We also want to share an update on legislation we wrote about in September, An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities. 

The Massachusetts House and Senate has reportedly rejected Gov. Charlie Baker’s response to their proposed legislation. Many are still watching because this was important legislation that in part, would have defined pedestrians, cyclists and others as “vulnerable road users” and established a statewide requirement for trucks to be equipped with sideguards, convex mirrors and other equipment. We will be watching this one too.

Free Legal Consultation – Boston Car Accident Attorneys

Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston personal injury law firm with more than 125 years combined experience.

If you have been injured by another driver’s negligence, learn more about our firm and your legal rights for seeking compensation for your recovery. For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1299 or 617-723-7676 or use your contact form.

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Pedestrian crossing street at night in snow

Commit to drive safely near pedestrians this holiday season in Massachusetts. If you drink, be responsible and plan another way home.

Make a Holiday Safety Plan

Next time you stop at an intersection, check. Check in front of your vehicle, side to side, then behind. Expect to see pedestrians.

Unless it’s winter and you are driving at night in Massachusetts. Then it becomes more difficult to see, raising the risk for pedestrian injuries at night. You may not see every pedestrian unless you really look.

We share these reminders for traveling safely near pedestrians this holiday season in Boston and across Massachusetts:

Never Drink and Drive. You reduce your ability to respond to pedestrians when you drink. If you drink, be responsible and plan a ride home before you head out to holiday gatherings.

Stop and Yield for Pedestrians. Drivers have a duty to yield or stop for pedestrians crossing the roadway within a crosswalk, under Massachusetts law. Drivers have an absolute duty to stop for pedestrians when there is an active “Walk” signal.

Slow Down. Slow and steady is safest when pedestrians may be out. Your speed makes all the difference in whether you have time to stop. While speed limits may be posted, drivers have a duty to travel even slower “when a special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians and other traffic,” per M.G.L. c. 90, § 17.

Use Caution in Parking Areas. Check in all directions before you leave parking lots or holiday parties. You never know when you may see a pedestrian. Pedestrians may stop to talk in parking lots or check their cell phones.

Stay Focused. Turn your cell phone off when you drive to and from holiday gatherings. Give the road your full attention and check the side of the road for pedestrian activity.

Check the Weather. Here in Massachusetts, December can bring a wide range of forecasts: a balmy day, cold rain or a snowstorm. Expect pedestrians to be out, even in inclement weather and at night. Expect pedestrians to be out shoveling; avoid traveling near driveways.

Talk to Your Teen Driver. Drive your teen to holiday gatherings or school events at night so they can get more practice driving at night and near pedestrians.

Watch for Work Crews. When you see a utility truck, police car or emergency vehicle, slow down and expect pedestrians. If you are on the highway, move over to the next lane. On local roads, slow down or if you decide to stop, pull over into a safe and well-lit parking area. You can contribute to a larger accident by blocking traffic.

Helping a Pedestrian Get Medical Care After a Drunk Driving Crash

As personal injury lawyers, we have represented the victims of many drunk driving accidents here in Massachusetts.

We hope you use good judgment and avoid drinking and driving this holiday season. But if you are involved in a drunk driving crash, remember what matters most: staying on the scene and helping the pedestrian get medical care.

Pedestrians are highly vulnerable to fatal injuries in car accidents and need immediate medical care. As a driver, you have a legal responsibility to stay on the scene of an accident involving personal injury under Massachusetts law.

Learn More About Breakstone, White & Gluck

Breakstone, White & Gluck wishes you a safe and happy holiday season. To learn more about our firm, please visit our website.

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Wrong way traffic sign

In Massachusetts, state officials have announced a $2.6 million project to install wrong-way detection systems on state highways.

As we approach the holiday travel season, Massachusetts and Connecticut are installing new wrong-way detection systems for safer roads.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced a $2.6 million project to install wrong-way detection systems along 16 Massachusetts highway ramps. There will be several road closures this week in Danvers, Plymouth, Burlington, Webster and Bernardston, according to The Boston Globe.

MassDOT reports work will continue through Spring 2023. The systems will use thermal imaging cameras to detect wrong-way travel. While we will learn more next Spring, Rhode Island and Florida already have similar technology in place to reduce the risk of fatal car accidents. These systems can flash warning lights to drivers before they make wrong turns or alert other drivers of hazardous conditions. The systems can also warn law enforcement when someone makes a wrong turn.

Wrong-Way Crashes Claiming More Lives

Many wrong-way crashes occur on divided highways. These crashes killed approximately 500 people each year between 2015 and 2018, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This represented a 34 percent increase from 2010 to 2014.

How many people have been killed in wrong-way crashes here in Massachusetts? According to MassDOT, there have been over 2,000 reports of wrong-way vehicles on limited access highways since 2014. Wrong-way crashes have claimed more than 40 lives.

In 2021, AAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called on states to adopt countermeasures, including alcohol ignition interlocks, sobriety checkpoints and adding more visible warning signals.

Operating Under the Influence Causes 6 in 10 Wrong-Way Crashes

Drivers who consume alcohol or drugs, then operate while impaired cause 6 out of 10 wrong-way crashes, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Older drivers and drivers who travel without passengers are also at a higher risk for wrong-way collisions. AAA has reported nearly 87 percent of wrong-way drivers were traveling alone.

Wrong-Way Safety Measures Across New England

You will find wrong-way detection systems in Rhode Island and now, Connecticut. Rhode Island first installed wrong-way detection systems in 2015, following a similar effort in San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio’s wrong-way driver initiative has been credited with a 30 percent reduction in wrong-way driving incidents and improved reporting.

Connecticut is moving forward with wrong-way detection systems after a devastating year of car accidents and injuries. In October, the Connecticut Department of Transportation introduced the new technology. At the same time, officials reported 22 people had been killed in wrong-way crashes in Connecticut in 2022, the highest number in recent memory.

Free Legal Consultation – Boston Car Accident Lawyers

At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we fight for you and get results.

With more than 125 years of combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck specializes in representing those injured by negligent drivers in Massachusetts. We have extensive experience representing clients injured by car accidents, pedestrian accidents and truck crashes. Our lawyers represent clients at all stages of claims, from accident investigation to appeals if necessary.

If you have been injured, learn your legal rights. For a free legal consultation, contact our car accident lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form. Our attorneys will take time to review the facts of your case with you and help you determine if you have a potential claim against another driver.

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Boston personal injury attorneys of Breakstone, White & Gluck

Marc L. Breakstone, David W. White and Ronald E. Gluck have been recognized on the 2022 Massachusetts Super Lawyers lists.

We are pleased to announce that Marc L. Breakstone, David W. White and Ronald E. Gluck have been selected by their peers for 2022 Massachusetts Super Lawyers honors. Our attorneys have been named to the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list and the Massachusetts Super Lawyers lists in the specialties of personal injury and medical malpractice. The lists will be featured in local publications.

Super Lawyers compiles the lists annually, recognizing up to 5 percent of Massachusetts lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice for their clients. Selection is based on a multiphase process of peer nominations, independent research and most important, peer reviews from other experienced attorneys in Boston and across the state.

How our attorneys were recognized:

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone was selected to the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list and the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the specialty of medical malpractice representing plaintiffs. Attorney Breakstone has been featured on the Super Lawyers lists each year since 2004, earning recognition on the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers list seven times and the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list 14 times.

Attorney David W. White was selected to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the specialty of personal injury law, representing plaintiffs. Attorney White has been featured on the Super Lawyers lists each year since 2004, earning recognition on the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers list three times and the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list seven times.

Attorney Ronald E. Gluck was selected to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in his specialty of personal injury law representing plaintiffs. This is the 18th consecutive year Attorney Gluck has been selected for recognition by his peers.

Free Legal Consultation – Boston Injury Attorneys

At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our personal injury attorneys fight for you and get results.

Experience matters when you have been injured by someone else’s negligence. With more than 125  years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck is committed to closely partnering with our clients, giving each client the personalized attention and resources their case needs.

Breakstone, White & Gluck specializes in all areas of personal injury law and has expertise representing clients injured by negligence in car crashes, commercial truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, MBTA bus and subway crashes, construction site accidents, dog bites, traumatic brain injuries and victims in product liability and premise liability claims. Our attorneys have represented hundreds of pedestrians and bicyclists injured by negligent driving.

Learn your legal rights if you have been injured by negligence or wrongdoing. For a free legal consultation, call 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 to review the facts of your case with one of our attorneys. You can also use our online form.

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Vulnerable road users legislation in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts House and Senate have sent a bill to protect vulnerable road users to the Governor’s desk.

At long last, the Massachusetts House and Senate have now sent Gov. Charlie Baker a bill to protect vulnerable road users. One of the bill’s proponents announced the news on his blog, saying the legislation follows 10 years of collaboration among lawmakers and road safety advocates. We encourage readers to call the governor’s office and urge him to sign the bill!

3-Foot Safe Passing Distance for Vulnerable Road Users Proposed in Massachusetts

First, Bill H.5103, protects pedestrians, cyclists and others as vulnerable road users. From now on, drivers must give vulnerable road users at least 3 feet when passing in Massachusetts.

The phrase vulnerable road users would include pedestrians and cyclists, as well as those who work on a public way or utility facilities or are engaged in emergency response services.

Among others, the legislation also protects those operating wheelchairs, tricycles, skateboards, in-line skates, motorized bicycles and scooters, both motorized and non-motorized.

The bill would add language to M.G.L. c.90 § 14, which states in part, “In passing a vulnerable user, the operator of a motor vehicle shall pass at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet when the motor vehicle is traveling at 30 miles per hour or less.” At higher speeds, drivers would have to give vulnerable road users more clearance, starting with a foot for every additional 10 miles per hour.

This language is critical, as it provides a guide for both drivers and those building safety infrastructure to reduce the risk of bicycle accidents.

Statewide Requirement for Truck Safety Equipment to Protect Pedestrians and Cyclists

Starting in 2025, the legislation would require state-owned and contracted-trucks to be outfitted with sideguards, convex mirrors and other equipment designed to protect cyclists and pedestrians from being swept under trucks.

Currently, the City of Boston has an ordinance that requires city-owned and contracted trucks to use this safety equipment. The City Council passed Boston’s sideguard ordinance back in 2014. The cities of Somerville and Cambridge also took steps, but advocates have long pushed for a state-wide requirement. The required equipment will include truck sideguards, back-up cameras, convex mirrors and cross-over mirrors.

Extending Lower Speed Limits to State Roads and Parkways

In 2016, the state of Massachusetts passed legislation which in part, allowed cities and towns to lower the default speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph on local roadways in thickly settled or business districts. This bill would allow the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to establish post 25 mph speed limits when state highways and parkways fall within thickly settled or business districts.

New Reporting for Pedestrian and Bicycle Crashes

The legislation would require MassDOT to develop a standardized form and system for reporting crashes involving vulnerable road users. The reports would be published in a publicly accessible database.

About Breakstone, White & Gluck

Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Business awardWith more than 125 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck has been consistently recognized as one of the top personal injury law firms in Boston. We have made a special commitment to encourage safety in Boston through our Project KidSafe campaign, now in its 10th year. To date, we have given away more than 36,000 bike helmets to children and families in partnership with local police departments, MassBike, Massachusetts Safe Routes to School and community organizations. The League of American Bicyclists has recognized our firm as a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Business.

For a free legal consultation, contact our personal injury lawyers at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

 

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Boston bike commuters during Orange Line shutdown

In Boston, cyclists are sharing concerns about bike safety during the Orange Line shutdown.

Boston commuters are taking the Orange Line shutdown one day at a time. Many are biking to work and school, some for the first time – and sharing their thoughts and concerns from the bike lane on social media and local news. In Boston, the mayor even joined cyclists on the road and Tweeted about riding conditions.

It’s nice to see cyclists share information to help each other make the ride safely. A few concerns mentioned: dooring, trucks parking in the bike lane and the need for more protected bike lanes in the Boston area.

A Few Safety Reminders for Driving Near Cyclists in Boston During the Orange Line Shutdown

Right now, drivers should expect to see more cyclists on the road in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Malden and other areas. This is an unprecedented shutdown for Boston’s 125-year-old subway line. Starting on August 19, the MBTA closed the Orange Line from Oak Grove to Forest Hills for 30 days to address a maintenance backlog and make planned construction improvements. According to NBC Boston, this line covers 20 stops over 11 miles, from Malden to Jamaica Plain.

Making this more difficult, the MBTA also closed part of the Green Line, between Union Square and Government Center, starting August 22. This closure is to perform final phase construction work required to open the Medford branch this Fall.

Leave the Bicycle Lane for Cyclists. If you drive into Boston, remember to leave the bicycle lane for cyclists. Never stop and park in the bike lane. When drivers park in the bike lane, cyclists have to make a dangerous choice: they can try to swerve around your vehicle into the traffic lane or move onto the sidewalk. In both cases, they are very likely to crash, even the most experienced cyclists.

Open Your Car Door Safely. Drivers can seriously injure cyclists by opening their door at the wrong time. This was the sad story last month in Somerville, when a driver opened his SUV door into a 72-year-old Somerville cyclist on Broadway, near Teele Square. The victim died the next day, according to news reports. The Middlesex District Attorney’s office is now investigating the fatal bicycle crash.

You can make a point of looking for cyclists by learning the Dutch Reach, a topic we recently discussed in another blog. This approach encourages you to park, then check your mirrors and reach across your body so you have to look across traffic before you open your door.

Drive Safely Through Intersections. Travel slowly and give cyclists extra room, especially when turning at intersections. Remember, a cyclist may have to move out of the bike lane and into the traffic lane to protect themselves. They are allowed to do so under Massachusetts law and they may not have time to use hand signals.

Many bicycle accidents happen at intersections. When you stop at intersections, check your mirrors for cyclists approaching from behind you. Let cyclists turn first so you know they have cleared the intersection safely.

Cycling Safety Resources for the Orange Line Shutdown in Boston

If you are riding, we encourage you to regularly check these safety resources throughout the Orange Line shutdown:

Guide to Biking in the Boston Area During the Orange Line Closure, Mass.gov
This web page offers safety information and resources, including information about free Blue Bike passes.

Boston Cyclists Union
The Boston Cyclists Union is providing cyclists with updates on the Orange Line shutdown, including information on bike repair, Blue Bikes and how you can join a bike convoy to work.

Free Legal Consultation – Breakstone, White & Gluck, Boston Personal Injury Lawyers

At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we fight for justice for those who have been seriously injured or killed by the negligence or wrongdoing of others in Massachusetts. Breakstone, White & Gluck is located at 2 Center Plaza, across from Boston City Hall and Government Center. Our attorneys specialize in representing cyclists, pedestrians and others injured due to negligent driving, and other types of personal injury claims.

Breakstone, White & Gluck has supported local cycling clubs in the Boston area for more than 20 years. For the past 10 years, we have also worked to promote safety in the Boston area by donating children’s bicycle helmets. With this year’s donations, we have now donated over 36,000 helmets to children through our Project KidSafe campaign in partnership with local police departments, organizations, Massachusetts Safe Routes to School, MassBike and other partners.

Learn more about Breakstone, White & Gluck.

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Motorcyclists on Fall foliage ride in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is a beautiful place to enjoy Fall on your motorcycle. Read our motorcycle safety tips before you travel.

Many Massachusetts motorcyclists are now planning road trips to enjoy the beautiful Fall foliage. If you are among these riders, we offer some safety reminders and hope you enjoy a fun and safe motorcycle ride, one filled with rich Fall color. 

The first step is to consider your travel route. You may be thinking about taking a ride to Plymouth, Cape Cod or the North Shore because you enjoy driving to these destinations or friends have shared positive reviews. But really consider your route, the distance and weather forecast when you take your motorcycle.

Most of all, be realistic about your motorcycle riding experience. Many motorcyclists travel out to Western Massachusetts to explore the Mohawk Trail, Shelburne Falls or Mount Greylock. While there are majestic views, motorcyclists – and other drivers – may be surprised to find such narrow roads and sharp curves on their first visit. Learning a little more about road conditions may help you ride safer.

Planning a Safe Motorcycle Ride This Fall Foliage Season

Wear a Motorcycle Helmet and Proper Gear

Follow Massachusetts Traffic Laws and Stay Visible

Avoid Fatigue, Exhaustion and Distractions

Riding Alone, With a Passenger of With A Group

When You Have Been Injured or Your Motorcycle Has Been Damaged

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Boston personal injury lawyers Breakstone, White & Gluck

Ronald E. Gluck, Marc L. Breakstone and David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck.

Breakstone, White & Gluck is proud to announce our three partners have been recognized in the 2023 edition of Best Lawyers in America©. The rankings were publicly announced on August 18, 2022. Marc L. BreakstoneDavid W. White and Ronald E. Gluck were recognized for their experience and expertise in these practice areas:

  • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs
  • Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs
  • Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • Insurance Law

This recognition comes after Breakstone, White & Gluck celebrated 30 years of practicing law in Boston this summer. Combined, all four of our attorneys offer more than 125 years experience.

Best Lawyers has released these widely-respected rankings annually in partnership with U.S. News & World Report and other media partners since the early 1980s. The rankings are compiled as a guide to help inform consumers as they hire an attorney. The lists are based on an extensive peer-review evaluation. Breakstone, White & Gluck and our attorneys were selected based on the feedback of other local lawyers and those whom they have opposed in court. Best Lawyers was founded upon “the principle that the best lawyers would know, and be able to recognize, the best lawyers in their location and practice area.”

The rankings recognize just 5 percent of attorneys in private practice across the United States for their skills and abilities. Read about our partners:

Marc L. Breakstone
David W. White
Ronald E. Gluck


Attorney Marc L. Breakstone

Reza Breakstone

Marc L. Breakstone

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone has been recognized in the 2023 Best Lawyers in America rankings in these specialties: Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs and Medical Malpractice Litigation – Plaintiffs.

Attorney Breakstone has represented seriously injured clients in personal injury and medical malpractice cases since 1986. He has a reputation for working tirelessly to ensure his clients receive full and fair compensation as well as the most favorable medical result.

In his practice, Attorney Breakstone represents victims of personal injury and wrongful death, motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, MBTA bus accidents, medical malpractice and propane gas explosions. His awards include a $10.2 million settlement for his client who was the victim of ambulance negligence and $7.5 million for his client who lost their loved one in a propane gas explosion.

David W. WhiteAttorney Breakstone has been consistently praised by his clients and recognized, including by Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 New England Super Lawyers, Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Massachusetts Super Lawyers in the specialty of medical malpractice. He has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell for 25 years, an honor recognizing attorneys for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards. Read more about Marc.

 


Attorney David W. White

David W. White - Boston Personal Injury Lawyer

David W. White

Attorney David W. White has been recognized in the 2023 Best Lawyers in America rankings in these specialties: Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs, Insurance Law and Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs.

A past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Attorney White specializes in helping victims of personal injury, wrongful death, bicycle accidents, motor vehicle crashes, dog bites, construction accidents, premises liability accidents and defective products.

Attorney White’s settlements and verdicts include a $4.35 million award for his client who fell from an unsecured cooling tower on a construction accident site. He recovered $2.5 million for his client injured by a homeowner’s negligent use of a fire pit.

Ronald E. GluckAttorney White has been consistently praised by his clients and recognized, including by Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 New England Super Lawyers, Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Massachusetts Super Lawyers in the specialty of personal injury law. He has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, an honor recognizing attorneys for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards.  Read more about David.

 


Attorney Ronald E. Gluck

Ronald E. Gluck

Ronald E. Gluck

Attorney Ron Gluck has been recognized in the 2023 Best Lawyers in America rankings in his specialty of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. Attorney Gluck has practiced law in Boston for more than 30 years. He offers his clients a unique combination of compassion and strategic abilities in developing cases to achieve the best financial result.

In his practice, Attorney Gluck represents victims of personal injury and wrongful death, traumatic brain injuries, car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents, including crashes caused by the operators of large vehicles and commercial trucks.

Attorney Gluck has been consistently praised by his clients and recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Massachusetts Super Lawyers in the specialty of personal injury law. He has been rated AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, an honor recognizing attorneys for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards.

Attorney Gluck’s verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients include $3.75 million recovered for a motorcyclist who was hit by a negligent driver and $2.5 million for a driver who was struck and seriously injured by the driver of an 18-wheel truck. Read more about Ron.


Free Legal Consultation – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers

At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we fight for justice for those who have been seriously injured by the negligence of others. We represent clients in Boston, Cambridge and across Massachusetts. With more than 125  years combined experience, our personal injury lawyers have won numerous record-setting verdicts and settlements for clients in negligence, car accident, product liability and medical malpractice cases.

If you have been injured by someone’s negligence, learn your legal rights. For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 1-800-379-1244 or 1-617-723-7676 our use our contact form.

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MaMaRoo Swing with Defective Strap

Two million MaMaRoo baby swings have been recalled after a child died due to asphyxiation caused by a loose strap.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the recall of two million infant swings due to the risk of entanglement and strangulation. The recall comes after a child was caught in a restraint strap and died from asphyxiation.

Thorley Industries, LLC – using a d.b.a of 4moms – recalled two million MamaRoo swings and 220,000 RockaRoo rockers on Monday, August 15, 2022. The Canadian government has also announced a recall for 60,000 infant swings and 10,000 rockers.

The recall covers MamaRoo swings and RockaRoo rockers sold between January 2010 and August 2022. Consumers may have purchased one of these defective products online through Amazon or 4moms or at a Target or BuyBuy Baby store.

The swings and rockers have unsafe straps and and consumers are urged to stop using these products immediately. Place the products out of the reach of young children. While 4moms is not offering a product replacement, consumers can request a free strap fastener.

Injury Reports Involving MaMaRoo Swings and RockaRoo Rockers

There were no injury reports associated with the RockaRoo rockers, which are designed to sooth children with an adjustable gliding motion.

As for the MaMaRoo, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported a 10-month-old died after becoming caught in a restraint strap that fell loose under an unoccupied swing. A caregiver intervened in a separate incident, saving another child’s life. But the second child – who was also just 10 months old – suffered visible neck bruising.

The MamaRoo is a button-control baby swing which features multiple speeds, motions and sound options. 4moms is recalling versions 1.0 through 4.0, which are built on a 3-point harness. Parents should note the recall does not cover models using the 5-point harness.

Do You Own a Defective Infant Swing or Rocker?

It is easy to forget your past purchases. However, it is important to check your home after a product recall. Make it a goal to act quickly and remove unsafe products before an injury.

When a children’s product is recalled, families may have to take a few extra steps.  You may have purchased one of the recalled children’s swings, then moved it to storage, thinking you could reuse it again someday.

Another possibility is you may have shared one of these products with a friend or relative. If you did so, take a moment. Let them know about the MaMaRoo recall before they give the swing to another family or attempt to sell it used. Your goal is to stop any distribution of a recalled product.

Check the model numbers. Start by checking the names and model numbers of any infant swings or sleepers you are currently using or may have in storage. Read the CPSC recall notice for MaMaRoo swings for the list of model numbers.

Check your digital records. The best scenario is if you registered the product with the company at the time of purchase. If so, you may have already received an email about this week’s recall. If not, you may find what you need by reviewing your online shopping history with Amazon or you may want to search for the product names and retailers in your email account. You never know – you may have received a marketing email.

What You Can Do: Always Report Injuries Caused by Defective Products

Manufacturers have a responsibility to thoroughly test products before distribution to consumers. When a defect is uncovered, companies must promptly notify consumers to prevent other injuries. But this doesn’t always happen and it is difficult to hear another defective product has caused injury or death.

Consumers can help protect the public by reporting defective products and injuries as soon as they happen. You can contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or your local police or fire department. If you have been injured by an unsafe product, you should also consult an attorney who specializes in product liability. An attorney can help you report your injuries while investigating and protecting your legal rights should you need to seek compensation later for your medical expenses and recovery.

You should also report past injuries involving any product under recall, even minor injuries. It is about injury prevention and your report may provide the company and the CPSC with relevant information to prevent future injuries.

Free Legal Consultation – Top-Rated Boston Product Liability Lawyers

Breakstone, White & Gluck has over 125 years combined experience obtaining successful results for our clients in personal injury cases in Boston and across Massachusetts. Our firm has extensive experience representing victims of defective products. Read about our recent results in product liability cases.

For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

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Cycling dooring accidents

Drivers can use the Dutch Reach and reduce their chances of causing a cyclist a dooring injury. This approach calls on drivers to reach for their door with their right hand, across their body so they have a better view of the road and oncoming cyclists.

Drivers are sharing the road with cyclists as we enjoy August here in Massachusetts. Whether you are at home in the Boston area or vacationing on Cape Cod, we hope you give cyclists extra room when you drive and turn through intersections. We also want to remind you to use the Dutch Reach.

What is the Dutch Reach? It is a simple safety approach to help drivers park, look for cyclists and open their car doors safely. The goal is to prevent dooring injuries to cyclists. Using the Dutch Reach can raise your awareness of cyclists and save you from the trauma and shock of opening a car door into a bike. In our experience, we have heard many drivers say they look for cyclists on the road. But this changes when drivers park; many say they never even saw the cyclist coming.

The Dutch Reach can also save you from having to pay a costly auto insurance claim and fine. Opening a car door and interfering with a cyclist – or a pedestrian – is a traffic offense in Massachusetts. Drivers can be fined $100 for dooring under M.G.L c. 90, § 14.

Five Years of Encouraging the Dutch Reach in Massachusetts 

Massachusetts added an advisory on the Dutch Reach method to its driver’s manual in 2017, with a push from a local safety advocate following a cyclist’s tragic death. The cyclist was killed in a bicycle crash involving a car door in Inman Square in Cambridge in 2016.  Massachusetts was one of the first states to add this advisory, which calls on drivers to park and:

  • Check your rear-view mirrors.
  • Check your side-view mirrors.
  • Open the door with your far hand. 

Drivers should open their doors with their right hand; front-seat passengers should use their left. When you do this, you have a better chance of seeing cyclists approaching from behind. You become more aware of what’s known as the “door zone” and bike lane. By pausing and checking, you are less likely to seriously injure a cyclist in a dooring accident. 

Watch a demonstration:

 

This approach has become part of the culture in the Netherlands, which has one of the lowest rates for bicycle accidents in the world (Source: National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Bicyclist Safety on US Roadways: Crash Risks and Countermeasures, NTSB/SS-19/01). Children learn this approach early and it is covered in driver’s education classes.

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended all states include Dutch Reach advisories in their driving manuals.  As of 2021, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington and Washington D.C. had all done so, according to the Dutch Reach Project.

Share the Dutch Reach Method With Family and Friends

Try the Dutch Reach next time you drive to the local post office or to pick up dinner. Then take time to share the Dutch Reach with your family members and passengers. Sharing the Dutch Reach may just help someone else in your life, especially during August and September, when many of us are on vacation and driving unfamiliar roads. Or we may be moving into new apartments for the Fall semester in Boston and venturing out. Unfortunately, many drivers and pedestrians do not really see cyclists on the side of the road. We are more focused on the cars and trucks in the traffic lane.

Before we sign off, a few more safety reminders for drivers and car doors. Remember, you have a responsibility to close the car door when you take in groceries or unload your car. You should never block or interfere with the bike lane. Cyclists may see your door open yet still be unable to stop. You could cause not one, but multiple bicycle accidents.

Last, use your cell phone with caution. When you park, you may want to reach right for your phone. More and more, drivers are using mobile apps to pay for parking or to pick-up take out or groceries. Someone may be sending you an alert or two.

But think twice and pause. You want to enjoy the month of August and focus on your September ahead. Reaching for your cell phone can be highly distracting as you exit your vehicle – and seriously injure a cyclist.

Learn About Breakstone, White & Gluck

bwg-1200×628With more than 125 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck has been consistently recognized as a top-rated Boston personal injury law firm. Our lawyers specialize in representing cyclists and others who have been injured by negligent driving in Boston, Cambridge, Quincy and across Massachusetts. If you have been injured, feel free to contact our firm. We offer a free legal consultation and one of our attorneys will take time to review the facts of your case with you and help you determine whether you have a potential legal claim. You can call 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

kidsafe-1200We also invite you to learn more about our Project KidSafe campaign for bike safety, which we began 10 years ago! To date, we have donated over 36,000 free bicycle helmets to children in Boston and across Massachusetts. Our goal with this campaign is to encourage children to protect themselves by wearing a helmet every time they ride.

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